By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
Roundup from Saturday:
Amy MacMichael Tournament in Scio
Friendship/Scio 4, Cuba-Rushford 3
CUBA — An absolutely wild race to the finish in the Amy MacMichael Tournament unfolded Saturday afternoon in a game where both teams combined to score seven goals. Most of them, across a firework-encapsulated first half, where Cuba-Rushford and Friendship/Scio created even playing ground with a 2-2 tie after the first 40 minutes.
The power shifting all across the second half would help set up one of the more electric finishes to a game this season in the final 20 minutes of regulation. With time quickly winding down, the urge to act fast began to set in. Perhaps the most prime of opportunities would come in the last 60 seconds, when a ball down the near endline was taken in by Morghyn Ross evolved into something bigger.
In the end, Lexi Crossley made the run of her life and came away hitting the jackpot, as the Friendship/Scio senior sent the home side of the field into an absolute craze, netting what would end up being the game-winning goal to give them their third straight win after an 0-2 start with a 4-3 victory in Scio.
“Cuba is really well-coached. Aaron (Wight) does a great job with his girls. The (Cloey) Larabee girl is extremely tough, and she created a lot of problems in the first half. We left her too much room on both of her goals, and she unleashed a couple of great shots that beat our keeper to get them going,” Friendship/Scio coach Dillon McFall said. “Our girls, it was nice to see the fight to hold it together for the last minutes of the half. Overall, this was a pure gutsy performance to come back after being shorthanded, especially with the last goal by Lexi. We’re starting to figure it out, especially after switching things around to set up the end of it.”
Before the second half fireworks were put on full display, the show began with a four-goal first half between both squads, conducted by both Cloey Larabee and Nevaeh Ross, each scoring a pair of their respective teams to record a 2-2 tie at the break. Larabee was the first to reach the board first within the first 10 minutes for the Lady Rebels (2-3) before Ross responded with her first in return 15 minutes later off of the first of two Crossley assists.
Larabee and Ross would find the back of the net once more to help close out the opening half, with Larabee netting her second of the game to reclaim the lead for Cuba-Rushford, while Ross answered back with 1:44 to go until the break, deadlocking the game once again at two for Friendship/Scio (3-2).
Both teams would battle across much of the second half through the midfield, accumulating scoring opportunities along the way. But once more, the Lady Rebels would retake a 3-2 lead behind Larabee’s hat trick-clinching score just past midway off a big direct kick straight in on the Friendship/Scio net.
“I have to give them credit, they executed their gameplan very well,” said Lady Rebels coach Aaron Wight. “They took advantage of their chances. It was nice to see Cloey scoring like that for us today. She has been a bit unlucky the past few games with her shooting, so that was nice to see. In the end, Friendship/Scio is playing some great soccer right now.”
With time winding down, the most opportune of times would come, and for Friendship/Scio, they received their next chance with 10 minutes to go on a penalty inside the Cuba-Rushford box. The end result was a clutch penalty kick goal off the foot of Morghyn Ross to tie the game at three.
The scramble to break what would ultimately serve as the game’s final deadlock raged on, and with 1:04 to go, Morghyn Ross would then serve up a game-winning play down the endline and across to Crossley, as she bolted in on the Cuba-Rushford net and buried home the electrifying marker to allow Friendship/Scio to spring back out in front until the final horn to claim the victory in thrilling fashion.
“We started the year 0-2, and now we’ve won three in a row. It would be easy getting outscored 15-2 and get frustrated from that, but the girls are absolutely resilient and it showed in today’s game a ton,” McFall said. “That was a big difference. We lost to Cuba to open the season, and I told them that they are a better squad than what we were at the beginning of the season a couple weeks ago. They are tougher, and better than what they think they are. They took that to heart, and proved it.”
The Lady Rebels outshot Friendship/Scio by a 13-9 count, but the win belonged to Grace Drumm in between the posts through it all, as she made 10 saves. On the other end, Annaleece Melton set aside five shots for the visitors in white and blue.
Both teams are back on the field Tuesday night in a pair of 5 p.m. first kicks, with Friendship/Scio now conducting a search for their fourth straight victory with a visit to Bolivar-Richburg, while Cuba-Rushford heads back home looking to rebound with a visit from Andover/Whitesville.
Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg 7, Friendship/Scio 0
ANDOVER — Robert Bradley had his biggest game of the season for Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg, as the senior unleashed his offensive fury by registering a six-goal night to complete a double hat-trick in the team’s 7-0 home shutout over visiting Friendship/Scio.
After an early midfield battle for possession took over the first 10 minutes of play, the hosts in black went straight to work on offense under Bradley’s guidance, as Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg (4-2) took a 3-0 lead across the next eight minutes to help set the tone right away for the remainder of the game.
The seven goals by the hosts came from within a 19-shot effort, as they went on to outshoot Friendship/Scio (1-6) by a 19-8 count. In goal, the win belonged to Skyler Orpet, who made all eight stops to record the shutout. On the other side, Deacon Brown made 11 saves.
Both teams return to the field Monday night in a pair of 5 p.m. contests, with Andover/Whitesville-Jasper-Troupsburg playing host to Genesee Valley/Belfast in Whitesville, while Friendship/Scio heads to Bolivar-Richburg.
Fillmore 9, C.G. Finney 1
FILLMORE — After the boys team dominated most of play to come out with a big shutout win over the Falcons to start the doubleheader, it was the ladies turn to take the field under the lights on Friday.
The Lady Eagles of Fillmore felt the pressure from C.G. Finney early on, but they were able to account for a halftime lead to carry into the last 80 minute session of the night.
With the Lady Falcons hot on their trail, Fillmore went on to use the remaining time to turn the heat up and maintain their distance in front of them. And then some.
In short, it was a second half implosion, as Fillmore went on to score seven more goals to bring all the pieces of the puzzle back together, with Hope Russell completing another hat trick along the way to aid in the team’s 9-1 victory over the Lady Falcons to close out the weekend with a complete sweep of the action on their home field.
“The window on the goal was a little small in the first half and we kept “throwing rocks into the backpack” and letting our lack of finishing get to us,” said Lady Eagles coach Jon Beardsley. “We still managed two goals, but their goalkeeper and our execution kept the game at 2-0 at the half. We can’t play the spoiled role, we simply need to focus and fight through it. We came out in the second half with a bit more focus in the last touch before scoring, and we were winning every ball. We had 10 girls figure into the scoring line.”
The Hope Russell/Grace Russell connection was brought to life across the first half for the Lady Eagles (6-0), with the first being scored near the 10-minute mark after a perfect serve from the corner from Amelia Rose hit a vast amount of traffic in front of the C.G. Finney net before being worked outside the zone for Grace to serve back inside to Hope for the game’s icebreaker.
The two sisters connected once again deep in the Lady Falcons zone, with Hope getting her second goal of the game on a perfect threading of the needle between defenders from Grace, as she broke away from a pair of defenders inside the box to score it on the right side of the net. Fillmore continued to knock on the door several times, especially towards the end of the half with multiple opportunities — all of which were stopped by a sprawling Madi Beachner in goal for the visitors to keep the hosts off the board.
With a 2-0 lead at the break, the Lady Eagles regrouped and brought everything back together again for a ginormous outing of offense, as they went on to score seven second half goals, with Hope Russell scoring two more along with Delaney Hillman, Kylee Ellsworth, Mattie McCumiskey, Tenlee Miller and a first career Varsity score for Summer Friedl all helping further the cause.
The nine goals came off 31 total shots against C.G. Finney, while the Lady Falcons offered three in return — one of them finding the back of the net behind Preslee Miller for the first time this season to get the Lady Falcons on the board. Miller would go on to make two saves for the victory.
Fillmore is back on the field Tuesday night down the road at the Rich Sullivan Complex in Belfast, as they visit Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 7 p.m. first kick.
Fillmore boys win
FILLMORE — In recent years and in years past, C.G. Finney and the Eagles of Fillmore have collided for some memorable games whether it’s been in the regular season, or when they clash during the most exciting time of the season — Sectionals. The most recent bout came late last year during Fillmore’s State title run, when the Eagles served up a hard-fought 1-0 shutout.
This time around however, the Eagles took over this year’s game from start to finish with one of their strongest efforts of the season.
Behind some impeccable ball movement, passing and everything else in between, the defending Class D State Champions showcased everything in their arsenal to deliver their fifth straight shutout to start the season, paced by two-goal nights from Henry Sardina and Layton Sanasith, as well as goals from three more Eagles to set the stage for a 7-0 shutout of the Falcons, Saturday night.
“It was another great team effort for us tonight to earn our fifth shutout to start the season,” said Eagles coach Jarrett Vosburg. “With a program like Finney, it was huge for Layton and Henry to get us going early with a goal in the first minute. Credit to Finney for a bend but don’t break mindset that kept things very competitive in the first half. They’re a team that’s been bit by the injury bug a bit, so if they can get healthy, I expect them to be their usual tough selves come Sectionals time.”
Fillmore (5-0) wasted absolutely no time striking while the iron was hot in the opening minute, as Sardina made a big sprint down the near sideline and turned the corner in towards the C.G. Finney goal, evading a Falcons defender along the way. With possession, he shifted the ball over to a wide open Layton Sanasith to his right for the perfect finish just 43 seconds in to break the ice.
The chances continued to pile up against the Falcons, and it all stemmed off of some immaculate ball movement all around the field, which would ultimately lead to their next goal just past midway from Sardina, who received an accidental drop pass from Eben Schilke in front of him, turning the afterburners on between two defenders to rocket a shot home for a 2-0 lead which would be held at halftime.
In the second half, a variety of Eagles all got involved to help create a massive eruption on offense that sank in during the first 10 minutes of play. In a span of 35 seconds, the hosts in green broke the game wide open as Sardina and Sanasith both recorded their second goals of the game, with Sardina converting a penalty kick before dishing off a phenomenal cross to the top of Sanasith’s head in front of the Falcons goal on the very next offensive rush.
The momentum remained tilted in Fillmore’s direction, as Zach Sisson, Isaiah Sisson and Kalen Beardsley all recorded scores in the last 15 minutes of play to wrap up one of their strongest performances of the season. Eben Schilke chipped in with two helpers, while Jack Boon and Jack Cool each had one to finish off some big special teams help.
Vosburg says all of that credit for the team’s brilliant success thus far goes to their defensive prowess that they’ve put on full display since game one.
“I’m proud of our defense once again. The goal-scorers rightfully get plenty of praise, but the effort we’ve consistently gotten from our back four to start the season has been phenomenal,” he said. “We have a number of tough contests next week, beginning with Arkport/Canaseraga, so we’ll enjoy this weekend and get back to work on Monday with our preparations.”
Fillmore posted 20 shots against C.G. Finney, while the defense only allowed four to reach both Brayden Hennard and Ryan Vedder, who split time in between the posts, as the two Eagles keepers combined to make all four saves for the shutout.
On Tuesday, the Eagles are back under the lights on their home pitch Tuesday evening, as they prepare to welcome in the Arkport/Canaseraga Wolves.